Titled after a small gallery of the same name found in Rome, the poems are devoted to meditations on religious relics and works of art. They explore the narrative power these objects carry—the way we imbue totemic figures with both meaning and story, and the potential they have to define the world.
”Jeffrey Thomson's Museum of Objects Burned by the Souls in Purgatory proves only on the surface a kind of reliquary, a boneyard, some collection of memento mori. Spiritual resonance and timelessness in these poems, in other words, emanates only notionally from their namesakes: immaculate fingers and feet, hearts and skulls, even foreskins. It is in the act, however, of imagining the value of these often macabre, sideshow-worthy bits and pieces of our bodies that Thomson finds his redemption. Yes, as Eliot sort of said (and Thomson has ironically echoed), we know more than the dead. And they are what we know.”